Nelson Wang (born 1950) is an Indian restaurateur of Chinese descent and the founder of a restaurant in Mumbai's Kemps Corner neighbourhood.[2][3] Various sources credit him with the invention of the popular Indian/Chinese dish "Chicken Manchurian".[4]

Nelson Wang
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese黃玉堂[1]
Simplified Chinese黄玉堂
Hindi name
Hindiनेल्सन वांग

Personal lifeEdit

Wang was born in Kolkata.[5] He is the son of a Chinese immigrant.[3] However, within a few days of his birth, his father died, and he was sent to live with a foster family by his mother. His foster father was a chef, to whom Wang attributes his own love of cooking.[2]

Early careerEdit

Wang came to Mumbai in 1974, with just 27 in his pocket.[6] His first job there was in a small restaurant in Colaba.[5] He also worked a variety of other odd jobs, including being a limbo dancer, at which he claims to be skilled.[3] According to Wang himself, he was a cook at the Cricket Club of India, when in 1975, a customer asked him to create a new dish, different from what was available on the menu.[3] He started by taking the basic ingredients of an Indian dish, namely chopped garlic, ginger, and green chilis; but next, instead of adding garam masala, he put in soy sauce instead, followed by cornstarch and the chicken itself; the result was Chicken Manchurian.[7]

China GardenEdit

Wang branched out from his job at the CCI in 1983 to start his own restaurant.[6] His restaurant gained popularity, and won various awards proclaiming it "India's best restaurant".[5] He and his son Eddie would go on to open several restaurants in various parts of India, including Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and Goa.[3] The restaurant encountered trouble in 1999, when a court ordered him to close it for violating Coastal Regulation Zone rules about building floor area, in a case that took more than fourteen years. A Rediff columnist criticised the ruling as making "no sense".[5][8] He reopened the restaurant at the Crossroads Mall in August 2000.[9]


  1. ^ Yuan Nansheng/袁南生 (2007), 《感受印度》, China Social Sciences Publishing House, p. 8, ISBN 978-7-5004-5356-7
  2. ^ a b Nelson Wang - The Master Chef, China Garden Restaurant, retrieved 21 April 2010
  3. ^ a b c d e "The short history of Indian Chinese food and where to breathe fire in Mumbai", CNN Go, 11 February 2010, retrieved 21 April 2010
  4. ^ Mukherjee, Sipra; Gooptu, Sarvani, "The Chinese community of Calcutta", in Banerjee, Himadri (ed.), Calcutta Mosaic: Essays and Interviews on the Minority Communities of Calcutta, Anthem Press, pp. 131–142, ISBN 978-81-905835-5-8
  5. ^ a b c d Nandy, Pritish (27 October 1999), "Bulls in China Garden", Rediff, retrieved 21 April 2010
  6. ^ a b Tahseen, Ismat (5 February 2008), "Manchurian Master: On the eve of the Chinese New Year, restaurateur Nelson Wang recounts the rise and rise of 'Manchurian' and 'Chinjabi' in India", Daily News and Analysis, retrieved 21 April 2010
  7. ^ Bhagat, Rasheeda (4 May 2007), "Taste and disdain: A tour of the country's interesting eating habits with a roving journalist", The Hindu, retrieved 21 April 2010
  8. ^ "Today's special at China Garden: High Drama", Indian Express, 5 August 1999, retrieved 21 April 2010
  9. ^ "China Garden's new avtar", Rediff, 29 September 2000, archived from the original on 29 September 2000, retrieved 21 April 2010

External linksEdit